Fergus Falls charities seek angelsPublished 10:57am Wednesday, December 19, 2012
During the holiday season through the end of the year is a great time remember area nonprofits in your giving plans. Charitable donations are an excellent way to reduce your tax burden for the year, all while doing something for the greater good.
Even if you can’t donate something tangible, most nonprofits could use a donation of your time for tasks ranging from ringing a Salvation Army bell for two hours or answering phones to entering data in a computer or helping with an event.
“Help from the community is very important and makes a difference in the work we are able to do,” said Vicki Nelson from Someplace Safe.
Someplace Safe is a nonprofit organization working to eliminate violence in West Central Minnesota and beyond.
The organization could most use gift cards for gasoline and diapers to help their clients in need, but also has a page on their website with a list of gifts that are most needed.
Check out the Someplace Safe holiday giving on the web: www.someplacesafe.info/give/holiday-giving/, or call 218-739-3359 for more information.
There are many different opportunities to help at Health Resources Center, from financial contributions through gifts of time and talents. The Health Resources organization exists to affirm the value of all human life through care and education.
They are in most need of diapers (especially sizes 4 & 5) and other baby care items such as shampoo, lotion and wipes.
Contact Health Resources at 218-736-6050 to make a donation.
The Red Cross could really use blood donations and volunteers. 15,000 people helped out through the Red Cross just during Hurricane Sandy, of which 90 percent were volunteers. Call the Fergus Falls Red Cross office at 218-739-5321.
“People may not think of arts and museums providing an essential service, but we are the type of organizations that are keepers of our culture and history,” said Chris Schuelke, Executive Director of the Otter Tail County Historical Society. “If we lose that, we lose the connection to ourselves and our community.”
Topping the Historical Society’s wish list is a new Mac computer that is powerful enough for their expanded database development for the thousands of records that are being archived by staff and volunteers, including professional graphics capabilities for handling photos and other artwork.
“We could use a good laptop mac too, and volunteers to help at the front desk and gift shop,” said Schuelke.
Contact OTC Historical Society at 218-736-6038 to make a donation or volunteer.
Access Television in Fergus Falls is committed to serving and empowering the Fergus Falls community through a partnership in public access television.
Access Television could use help with the repair or replacement of cameras, microphones and lights that are made available to the public. They could also use some shelving and storage units. Contact Jim Francis at 739-1027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nonprofits can typically put monetary donations to the most effective use, because it allows the charity to put funds in the area needed most. The nonprofit can advise donors who wish to earmark funds for specific purposes.
Contributions are deductible in the year made so be sure and get those gifts in by December 31. That includes credit card charges made before the end-of-the-year are deductible even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until the next year. Similarly, checks which are written and mailed by the end of the year will be deductible for this year even if they aren’t cashed until 2012. Donations, both cash and in-kind, are usually only tax deductible if a taxpayer submits an itemized return. Check with your tax professional for tax deduction questions.
If you represent a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Otter Tail County and wish to participate in a future Angel List, please email darla.ellingson@ fergusfallsjournal.com. Include your Agency name, one sentence mission statement, your name and title, top two wish list items and two volunteer opportunities, and how you would like the public to contact you. We will try to publish at least one more Angel List before the end of the year.